Back to School, Back to Change

For those readers with children, you will relate well to this post.  Every August / September, the planning of the new school year begins.  Sending kids back to school is a reminder managing tasks, schedules, and planning at very basic level.  As a new school year approaches quickly, there are many tasks:  Shopping for school supplies Clothes […]

How Salesforce Admins and Pardot Marketers can help each other!

Pardot_Logo.png3Working with customers and community, I was hearing a lot about Pardot and Salesforce.

Salesforce Women In Tech User Group & User Group co-hosted Salesforce Pardot event in Madison.

Wow!  What an amazing turn out, the event exceeded my expectations. Thank you to all attendees for taking time out of your day and special thanks for User Group Leaders; Brian Kwong (@kwongerific) and Lauren Miedema (@lrmiedema) with assisting.  I do appreciate the volunteers that help promote it (@andyschmiechen)!

Successes:

1.   100% attendance rate.  Everyone that registered, attended the event.

2.   The level of engagement was high.  Asking questions, sharing experiences, and gaining knowledge, was impressive.

3.  For this event, a community member is interested in starting a WI Pardot User Group.

@StephanieFoerst, (MVP, WiT Leader and Pardot User Group Leader), the Pardot expert in the community shared scenarios below on how Admins and Marketing can collaborate with Salesforce and Pardot.

Salesforce Admin Problem #1:

  • Your business wants copies of certain emails sent through automation saved in Salesforce. It is needed for record keeping and gives sales confidence that the email was sent. You can hack this when using the process builder or workflows but…

Pardot Solution:

  • If email logging is turned on in the Salesforce connector settings
  • Any email sent through Pardot is saved as a task in salesforce automatically
  • Setup your automation using Engagement Studio or Automation Rules instead!
  • Keep in mind: no attachments; links only

 

Salesforce Admin Problem #2:

  • You send emails through salesforce that contain links to training. The link may change over time, as training gets updated and people always need to be directed to the most current version. And you don’t want to have to update 100+ email templates…

Pardot Solution:

  • Custom redirects to the rescue!
  • Allows you to customize the URL given to a lead/contact
  • Redirects to your specified location

 

Marketing Problem #3:

  • The CMO is asking for a daily status update on a marketing campaign that’s currently running. The marketing team has their engagement program setup to add the prospects to campaigns and update campaign member statuses as they proceed through the program. But now they need the easiest way to give the daily update.

Salesforce Admin Solution:

  • Reports and Dashboards to the rescue!
  • Campaign Influence
  • Campaign best practices (parent/child campaigns, customizing campaign member status)

Also, shout out to @Allium IT for sponsoring the event.  It was great to have you there and thank you again for supporting the @Salesforce #Ohana.

Cheers~ Until next time

ChattyAdmin Next Move

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Wow!  What an amazing last couple months.  Not only did I get nominated for MVP and awarded MVP Winter 16, I will be moving onto another new journey within my career. 

I have honored to announce that I have accepted a Salesforce Consulting position with a local Wisconsin company,  Allium IT . 

Allium is recognized by Inc. 5000’s list of America’s fastest-growing companies.  Allium earned the rank of 2112 in 2016. The ranking is based on percentage of revenue growth over a four year period. Allium attributes this success to their customers, employees, partners, friends, and family who have supported them and made this achievement possible.

#Ohana has been asking what will happen to A.GAME Consulting, the advocate for Admins with a focus Training Admins and Training End Users?

Great news, Allium loves A.GAME business model so they will be incorporating it into their business model working and collaborating with clients.  It is a win-win-win.  Yes, 3 wins!  

  1.  Allium wins: Salesforce Admin trainer with customized module(s) and personal coach for Admins as well.
  2. I win:  continue my passion of educating Admins and Leaders about investing in people, process then technology.
  3. Most important win: Allium customers will receive Salesforce customized training based on their org and tailored Admin or End User training to best suited for the customers’ need.

I am excited to integrate my business model into a well-established organization whose moto:” Our proactive, collaborative, and candid approach to Salesforce.com support, technology staffing, strategy and project management, and privacy and security services, is a direct result of our experience. It’s the reason our clients continue to engage us for new projects and services”.  

My personal goal within this organization umbrella is to help Leaders understand the Salesforce is an ever-changing platform and the need for improving processes is led by people within.  

Thanks #Ohana for your support and helping me get to where I am today. I am so grateful for the opportunities, mentors, guidance from the amazing Salesforce Community.  

Please join me in celebrating this new adventure and provide me a virtual “high five” on twitter @chattyadmn.  

~ Cheers ~

The Award Goes To… Me?

Wondering if any ChattyAdmin readers watched the 2017 epic Oscars mistake that unfolded as the wrong film was awarded…. that uncomfortable, confusing moment that appeared on television being viewed of millions of people.

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On Friday, February 27… I had those same uncomfortable and confusing emotions arise as I read an email with a subject line “Congratulations!” With curiosity, I opened the email and noticed it was from the one and only Holly Firestone.

Shocked, confused, humbled, and honored and self-doubt heightened while I read the email.  I seriously read the email at least 3 times before I realizing I was being awarded Salesforce Winter 17 MVP.   I emailed Holly thanking her and the team.  I figured if there was a mistake of awarding the wrong “Kelly”,  that gave the team the opportunity to address it before I walked on “stage”.

Now,  that the week is settling down within the Success Community and Twitter, I want to write and thank all that have acknowledged my doings and the award of MVP.  Getting the MVP award is a great accomplishment and I am grateful… however I have learned it is a “way of being”.  Being able to looking deep inside and process these emotions tied to being nominated, let alone selected for MVP, is heart-felt recognition that I do not take lightly.

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I would like to share 4 ways how the Salesforce #Ohana Community has been a part of my growth, professionally and personally as I developed a better sense of “way of being”.

 

 

  1.  Identify Weakness, only brought forth Strength:  The Salesforce ecosystem and people within helped me gain confidence by asking questions and being okay with “asking”.  Pushing myself to try and learn new things.  Such as participating in “Radial Apex Developer” (free) program, I  quickly learned that I have not desire to write code. This also built level of knowledge about myself no ever writing code, but now being able to read and understand code.
  2. Tap into a great sense of Creativity:   By using my active listening skills and identifying business problems, I create solutions using Salesforce as platform.  As a Communication and Psychology  College major, I am drawn to resolving problems while understanding the people-side of business.
  3. Uncover my passion for educating and building a strong community:  Giving me the opportunity to lead Women In Tech chapter, has allowed me the opportunity build a stronger, supportive network which includes Allies.  Providing support and encouragement gives me a greater sense of “being”.  Thanks for all that participate.
  4. Ability to overcome fears:  This may seem like a strange one.  However, the community has been very supportive in allowing me to address my fear of public speaking.  I always worry that I will not have an answer, but I am okay with not having the answers all the time, and that is a way of “being”.  Where now today, I love leading group discussions and presenting in front of large groups.  Thank you for the opportunity for growth.

What I find most amazing are the people who want to help one another.  There are so many great resources provided by the Community such as podcasts, blogs, webinars and books all on Salesforce created and delivered from our people in the #Ohana.

I feel honored to be part of Salesforce #Ohana (MVP status or not). I sometimes wish that all of the world could follow this model of community by supporting one another and leading with our full hearts.

For those new or seasoned to Salesforce ecosystem thank you for all you have done and continue to do, it is a “way of being” that makes #Ohana so special.

Cheers~

Why Documentation?!?

Hey ChattyAdmin readers…. as mentioned in my last post I have organized A.GAME Consulting 3 part webinar series… FREE for the Salesforce community!

The first topic of Salesforce Documenting your org:  we will define what “TASK ARTICLES” are.  We will explore how Amy (fictional character) will look at how to identify what to document, format of document and where to store TASK ARTICLES.

Meet Amy:  Amy has been with the company less then 3 months supporting the Sales team. She calls leads, schedule appointments and builds email templates. Sales Manager noticed what a great job she was doing, decided to give her more responsibility.  Now, Amy helps the team by tracking data in Salesforce.  Since Amy is organized, data oriented and eager to learn. Where does Amy start?

I am excited to be partnering with fellow community #Ohana @Salesforce experts on Documentation.  I hope you will join us on the first webinar.  Seat will be limited.

Once you register, you will receive an email the next day with Join.Me details for Webinar and Call-in information.

Please register here:  Session 1: Salesforce Documentation Friday 2/3 12:00 p.m. CST

Cheers~

Get excited about Documentation!?!

Chatty Admin readers… hello to all.  I am so excited to have an opportunity to share that I will be doing a series of FREE Webinars on topics relating to Salesforce Documentation.

Yes, documentation.  There is not a lot to say about Documentation but you need to have it, right?!? Does your Salesforce instance have documentation already?  Is it updated? Does it overwhelm you to think about what to document?

Relating to any or all these concerns about Salesforce Documentation?  In the 3 FREE Webinar (series) hosted by A.GAME Consulting will offer steps on eliminating concerns and provide a starting point.

Please stay tuned and check out A.GAME Consulting. 

Cheers & Happy Holidays~

#GiveThanks

Happy Eating Day!  I would say Turkey day, however not all ChattyAdmin readers eat turkey.

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I want to give thanks to such a wonderful Salesforce Community!  Beginning of this month, Wisconsin Women In Tech hosted a #GiveThanks gathering.  We each brought canned goods to donate to local food pantry.  During this season, the pantry hands out over 3500 meals to families.  Our local WiT and WiT Supporters donated over 10 meals of canned goods!

This warms my heart… as we gathered to feast and give thanks, please think about how your community can “GiveThanks” for the months to come.

Thank you all who gathered, donated goods and monies contributions.  Keep Giving Salesforce Community…

By the way, A.GAME Consulting website is up and running! Check it out … Talk about feeling grateful, compassion and support from Salesforce Community, friends, and families INCLUDING my dear Olaf, during this new journey of starting my own buisness.  With Love!

Cheers

Wisconsin Salesforce WiT User Group & WiT Supporters step up in Community

In September, a Wisconsin User Group member wanted to do something special for Madison area community.  For those of you who do not know Andy Schmiechen,  I encourage you to follow him on twitter @AndySchmiechen or find him in the Salesforce Success Community.  He is an inspiration and go-getter within the Salesforce ecosystem and a supporter of Women In Tech!

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Right: @AndySchmiechen 

Enough about Andy, let’s get back to the ChattyAdmin post…

A small group of Wisconsin User Group members, helped out Habitat for Humanity of Dane County.  It was a great way to get our hands dirty, get a little sweaty and warm our hearts.  The turnout of volunteers from the Salesforce Community may have been a small number of people, but we made a HUGE impact.

What did we do as Volunteers?  Collectively, we painted exterior window trim and painted exterior doors. Let me tell you there were many windows!

Even had the opportunity to use power tools (yeah!) to remove a brick wall.  Talk about feeling unstoppable and focused?  Check out @JennyJBennett and @lrmiedema… kick butt!

We were determined to get the wall cleared away and with team work, we were able to accomplish such a task.  One person using the power drill (Yes, we took turns) and two others shoveling the gravel into the truck.  Did I mention, it was hot outside with sun betting down on us?

How long did we Volunteer for? The group thought we would be done early.  However, to our surprised, we worked full 8 hours in the hot sun.  Not only did it provide us an opportunity to step away from office, laptops, phones, demanding users and bosses… it provided us a chance to see a different kind of “hard labor”… glad to say, I work in technology.  I give props to those women and men who choose to work in labor industry.

Why Volunteer? Each person, may have their own reason for volunteering.  For me, ChattyAdmin, I strongly believe in the power of team work and giving back to my community.  It is a ‘feel good’ way to provide a helping hand.  I am someone who enjoys seeing immediate results.   As the impact provides the warm and fuzzy feelings, which sometimes can get lost in our everyday busy lives, we all tend to lead.

Who should Volunteer?  Anyone or everyone.  I believe in Salesforce 1:1:1 model.  For those readers who are not sure what1:1:1 model is, please check out http://www.salesforce.com/company/salesforceorg

  • 1% of a company’s time
  • 1% of its equity
  • 1% of its products/service are given forward to the community

I have made it my personal mission to incorporate 1:1:1: Model into A-GAME Consulting practice.  I am excited to share with you my journey as I look into the future of giving back.  I hope you will do the same too.

Cheers~

Where has @ChattyAdmn Been?

The last 6 months, there has been a lot of change occurring which has pulled me away from ChattyAdmin blog.  I apologize to my readers…. but I am sure everyone understands, life happens.

You may be asking yourself, @ChattyAdmn what changes?

  • First, the company decided to make a shift and allow us to work remote (out of our homes).  This was a scary but great change.  I never thought working remote would be productive.  Let me tell you, it is one of the best career shifts.  It has really taught me to prioritize and focus on what needs to get done.  I found that using other technology tools (google hangout, messaging) allows for co-workers to stay connected, just like when in the office.  I remember being in the office space, and disrupting others around me when asking a question to peers.  (Not effective).

Working remotely, meant I needed my own working space.  I am lucky enough to have a space bedroom, which I converted into my office.  This was fun.  I was able to paint and decorate it for me… for those that know me, my favorite color is purple (for creativity)… which yes, I painted all the office walls purple.  Check it out for yourself….Of course, now I can display all my Salesforce swag along with other Salesforce items:

Salesforce pictures taken over the years; Yes, Salesforce WiT poster (formerly known as Girly Geeks), and Salesforce certificates.  This is my space which allows me to be creative, focused, and stay centered.

  • The second shift happened when the company decided to dissolve the business.  Luckily, our team of three, were very transparent through what could have been  a difficult process. With amazement, it was a blessing.  The team spoke about how to transition existing clients, provided each other job leads, and be a great support network.  I have so much respect for the team and decisions that were made (which were not easy one).

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Which is why I am going to give shout outs:

@lifewithRyan (Ryan Headley):  You rock! With his patience and determination, Ryan taught me more about Dev world.  Thank for teaching me the ropes of consulting space, and being my side kick through all Salesforce Community  fun projects we accomplished over the last years….  to name a couple… Wisconsin #Trailhead Workshop and #TrailOnTheRoad Chicago. Let the projects continue!

@KevinSwiggum (Kevin Swiggum):   Thank you!  For believing in me and hiring me as your first employee in 2013.  I am grateful for meeting you in  2011 at (my first) Wisconsin User Group.  I recall it clearly.  Sitting at a table, we were introducing ourselves and I mentioned “I am a Salesforce Admin and our company is seeking a consultant.” At that very moment, all the eyes shifted to Kevin.  From that point on, you have inspired me to continue learning and pushing myself to limits (in a good way), supportive and a great friend.

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  • The third shift is currently happening.  I am in the process of starting my very own Salesforce Consulting company.  Yes!

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A.GAME Consulting is more than consultants doing Salesforce  implementation, data migration, integrations or Salesforce projects. A.GAME Consulting vision: building long-lasting relationships with Customers.

However,  we want Salesforce Customers to understand the value of the People . Process . Technology. You may be asking yourself, what does “A” in A.GAME Consulting stand for?  It is simple, Analyst .  Advisor . Advocate for Administrators, which is our approach for Customers to understand the key elements of successful orgs.

People. It is great  companies see the need and invest in Salesforce.  However, many times from my consulting experiences and working in corporate america, companies do not realize the investment needed for resourcing (people) to keep Salesforce running successfully.

Process.  It is criterial for company stakeholders to know how they can leverage Salesforce and have a vision (or roadmap plan).  Therefore, key to know and understand company processes will change, which then changes Salesforce processes.

Technology.  Salesforce as a tool, is evolving regularly.  This is based on customer feedback / needs / desires.  Salesforce has three major releases a year.  Which means, customers need to have people and process in place in order to see success with Salesforce.

Exciting news:  A.GAME Consulting website is almost complete!  Once the website is done, I will post here on ChattyAdmin blog … please stay tuned.  Also, thank you for understanding my absence in blogging.

Cheers~

“Salesforcer”: 5 TIPS help Prioritize for the New Year

With 2015 behind us, let’s prepare for the New Year for “Salesforcer” success.

The New Year is going to bring new Salesforce needs, requests, desires, have-to- haves, want-to-haves and well this means more work will need to be done.  How do you juggle all these different requests that need to get completed?  How are you tracking these?  Who decides what needs to get done?

In this post, I will share some of the successful tips and tricks I have learned throughout my Salesforce career… some good and well… some not so good.

Tip #1: Document ALL requests that come to you via email, phone and water cooler conversations.   

It does not matter if it is a small request or something you can do when you get back to your seat. Document…Document…Document.  You will see a little later why it is so important to document the request.

What to document?

  • Date you received the request
  • Description of the request
  • Who made the request
  • Category (covered later in the post)

Where to document?  You could always use a spreadsheet or word doc.  Better yet, use Salesforce Cases (Create a new category value “Salesforce Requests”. Boom.  Super slick to build reports and dashboards to present to management/users.)

Tip #2:  Prioritize Requests using Matrix

I have used the Covey Time Management Matrix a million times.  Especially when I begin to feel overwhelmed of things I need to get done.  First think about “who made the request” and then look at is it a “quick win” (easy and fast tasks to knock off the list).  During this step, you may need to dig a little deeper in conversations to really learn what is requested.  Trust me; if you don’t understand the request always ask for more insight.  I have learned the hard way and did not follow up on requests and ended up causing me more time.

Then, label request on the tracker as Urgent/Important; Not Urgent/Important; Urgent/Not Important; Not Urgent/Not Important.

Slide1http://www.usgs.gov/humancapital/documents/TimeManagementGrid.pdf

Tip #3:  Talk to your users, stakeholders, management teams.

Make sure you talk to other users regarding requests to see if the request is important, maybe you will discover there is more to that one request, which could turn into a “project”.   Again, if you learn about a new request, make sure to document it on your tracker.

Tip#4:  Categorize Requests

Now, this is the fun part.  As you collect and document requests, begin to categorize the requests.  I like to think of this as putting them into Salesforce buckets.  Are these many requests tied to one Salesforce Object… like Opportunities?  For example, request of Opportunity reports / dashboard, also a request of email notifications when an Opportunity is closed won to owner and Account owner or maybe there is a need for validation rule.  Put these together, in one category … Opportunity Enhancements.

Tip #5:  Salesforce Road Map

Since you were able track / document requests, identify level of importance, and categorize the request, you are ready to build out the Salesforce Road Map.   Using the Categories you created, you may want to revisit the Covey Time Management Matrix to determine which is most import.  You will plan out and create a visual diagram for the year of major categories (projects) on a timeline.  There are many different styles of road maps based on your project approach.  However, to keep it simple, I like to use this style road map when presenting to management and SSME.Slide1

  1. Once you have the Saleforce road map drafted, approach management and executive teams to ensure the map is aligned with company/department goals.  This gives them the opportunity to help re-prioritize before you start working on these items.
  2. Next, if you have a SSME (Salesforce Subject Matter Experts) group (see earlier post about the importance of SSME) run the road map by them.  This always, helps to make sure everyone is on the same page and agree with what will be worked on this year.

This is something I learned later on in my Salesforce career… it truly helped me stay focused on what I needed to work on.  Anytime, my manager would approach me with a “new project”, I would pull out road map diagram and ask where she would like it to fit into the road map.  Allowing for conversation to happen around timeframe/deadline and what can get pushed out.

Plus, having these tools in your tool belt will be very useful during your performance review! (Hint Hint)

Cheers~  Happy New Year.